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The Saga of Bosi and Herraud

5: Busla Petitions the King

Hring now called his forces together with a trumpet blast, and proceeded against the foster brothers. He went into battle with them, and had two or three times as many men as they did. Herraud and Bosi comported themselves well, and killed many men, although they were eventually overwhelmed and taken and set in chains and cast in the dungeon. The king was so angry that he wanted to have them killed, but Herraud was so well liked and everyone spoke for him. The booty was first divided and the dead buried. There were many men advised the king, that he should make peace with Herraud, and so he was led before the king. The king offered him pardon and many people spoke favorably of this, but Herraud said that he would not accept it unless Bosi had was spared both life and limb. The king said that this would not happen. Herraud said that he would kill anyone who put Bosi to death, and even the king. The king said that it would not be bad if he got what he asked for. The king was so angry that no one could get a word to him, and ordered Herraud taken back to the dungeon and that both should be killed in the morning, for the king would not change his mind and most people thought things looked hopeless.

That evening Busla had a talk with Thvara and asked if he did not intend to offer a ransom for his son, He said that he did not want to throw his money away, and said that he knew that he could not buy the life of a man who was fated to die. He asked where her magic was, and if she did not intend to help Bosi. She said that she would not be more miserly than he was.

That same evening, Busla came into the room, where King Hring was sleeping, and recited this prayer, which since then has been called Busla's prayer. It has since then become widely known, and there are many ill words for which Christian men have no need to have in their mouths. This is how it begins:

Here lies Hring the king
Chief of the Gauts
The most stubborn
Of all men;
Do you intend to murder
Your son, yourself.
The exceptional thing
Will be widely known.

Hear Busla's prayer
Soon it will be sung
So that it will be heard
All over the world
And unnecessary
To those who hear
And the most fiendish things
Which I will tell.

Demons will go astray
It will be unprecedented
The cliffs will be split
The world deranged
The weather will worsen
Unless you, King Hring
Bring peace to Herraud
And to Bosi
Bring safety.

So shall I be rough
At your breast.
At your heart
Vipers will gnaw,
And your ears
Will never hear
And your eyes
Turned inside out
Unless you to Bosi
Bring safety
And to Herraud
Give peace.

If you sail
Your rigging will snap
And from the rudder
Barbs fly asunder
With torn sheets
Drive the sail over
And straps of sail
All torn
Unless you to Herraud
Bring peace,
And so to Bosi
Offer reconciliation.

If you ride,
The reins will become disarrayed
Horse become lame
The nag becomes infirm
In all the streets
And paths
All are trodden
Into troll's hands
Unless you give
Safety to Bosi
And to Herraud
Give peace.

May you be at rest
On burning straw
Or in the high seat
Like on a sea wave
Though you delay
The worst sight
If you want to have
Man's play with a maid
You'll lose the way
Or do you want more?

Then the king answered: “Be quiet, woman, and begone, or otherwise I will have you tortured for your curses.”

“So we have met now,” said Busla, “and we will not part before I have my way.”

The king tried to stand up, but he was held fast to the bed and his servants did not awaken. Busla then continued with the second third of her prayer, but I must not let it be written here, because it is useless to anyone who repeats it. It is not likely to be repeated, if it is not written. However, this is the beginning:

Trolls and elves,
And wizard-norns
Burn your halls
Frost-giants destroy you
Horses stride on you
Straw prick you
And storms row you
And woe be to you
Unless you do my will.

When her charm was over, the king said to her: “Before you curse me any longer, I will give Herraud life, and Bosi must be carried out of the land and he will be killed if I ever get hold of him.”

“Then I'll have to do you one better,” said Busla.

Then she began that verse, which is called “Syrpa verse” which has the most powerful magic, and which is not allowed to be sung after sunset. This is near the end:

Six men come here,
Say their names
All unraveled
I must show you
If you are not able to solve this
So that it seems right to me,
Then hounds shall
Gnaw you in hell
And your soul
Sink into the abyss.


“Solve this name, so that it is right, or all the worst that I have prayed for will take effect, unless you do my will.”

When Busla had finished her prayer, the king knew for certain, how he should answer her demands. “What is now your will,” said the king.

“Send the two sons,” said the old woman, “on a dangerous mission, however it goes, and make them responsible for themselves.”

The king bade her go away, but she did not want to do that, before the king swore an oath, that he would honor that which he had promised to her, and then Busla's prayer would not harm him. Then the old woman disappeared.

6: The King Sends Bosi on a Mission

In the morning, the king woke up early and sounded the trumpets for a meeting, and Herraud and Bosi were led in. The king then asked his advisors what he should do with them, and most of them advised him to spare Herraud.

Then the king spoke to him: “You value me little,” he said, “but now I will do that which my friends ask, that Bosi shall be spared life and limb. He must leave the land and never return, until he gets me the vulture's egg, which is written outside with gold letters, and then we will be reconciled, but otherwise everyone will call him a scoundrel. But Herraud may go anywhere he wants to, either to follow Bosi, or to do his own pleasure. But he and I are not ready to be together."

Then they were both freed, and they went to Thvarla and were with him for a winter. But when spring came, they began their journey from the land, and had a ship with twenty four men. They traveled much under Busla's guidance, and arrived in the East, and came to Bjarmaland and set anchor under cover of a wild wood.

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